Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Orthopedic Treatment

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is an orthopedic condition characterized with numbness or tingling sensation in the hand and arm. This happens when the median nerve gets compressed or squeezed.

Median nerve is one of the main nerves in the hand passing through carpal tunnel at the wrist. This syndrome occurs when the tunnel gets narrowed or the synovium tissues surrounding the flexor tendons start swelling.

Causes:
One of the major causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is excessive pressure on the median nerve. This pressure may occur due to swelling or any other condition that makes the carpal tunnel smaller. Some other causes that may lead to this condition are:

  • Repetitive Hand Movements - Repeating similar wrist or hand movements for a long period of time may lead to swelling which puts pressure on the median nerve.
  • Nerve Damaging Condition – Most of the chronic illnesses, such as Diabetes and Arthritis, may increase the nerve damage risk leading to this syndrome.
  • Other Health Conditions – A few conditions, such as menopause, kidney failure and thyroid disorders exacerbate the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Alteration Of Body Fluids – Fluid retention can increase the pressure within carpal tunnel which thus affects the median nerve.
  • Excessive Smoking – People who smoke regularly are more prone to the syndrome as it reduces blood flow to the median nerve.

Symptoms:

In most cases, the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome start gradually. However, as the condition worsens, the symptoms start to appear more often that before and may even persist for a much longer period. Some of the symptoms include:

  • Occasional tingling or 'pins-and-needles' sensation in the hand.
  • Pain in the forearm or wrist that awakens you at night.
  • Dropping off things due to weakness.
  • Numbness or pain in the arm, which gets worse while using wrist or hand.
  • Occasional shock-like sensations radiating to thumb and/or fingers except the little finger.

Treatment:

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can often be relieved without any surgical treatment, if it is diagnosed and treated early. However, doctor may recommend surgery, when the symptoms are severe.

Non-Surgical Treatment

  • Bracing or splinting
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Nerve gliding exercises
  • Steroid injections

Surgical Treatment
The doctor may suggest surgery when the symptoms are severe. The surgical methods include:

  • Open carpal tunnel release
  • Endoscopic carpal tunnel release

We, at OrthoTexas, use surgical and non-surgical procedures to treat various orthopedic conditions including Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

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